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Christine Dreher, Nutritionist, Herbalist, & author of "The Cleanse Cookbook" founder of TransformyourHealth.com
Christine Dreher, Nutritionist, Herbalist, and author of
 "The Cleanse Cookbook"

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Dietary & Nutritional Support
for Allergies

 

Fall is just around the corner and is a favorite time of year for many people. Unfortunately, it can also be a time when allergies kick back in, supercharge or even continue, making people uncomfortable, if not downright miserable. We say kick back in, supercharge or continue because in the spring, trees pollinate and those with allergies to trees and other springtime allergens feel it. In the summer, especially early summer, grasses pollinate and those with grass allergens and other summer allergens will take a hit. In the fall, however, weeds pollinate, and a major weed contributing to fall allergies is ragweed.

In fact, a single ragweed plant can produce one billion pollen grains per season, and those pollen grains can travel up to 400 miles in the wind. Ragweed is found throughout the Midwest, North and South. Other weeds found abundantly in the fall include: goldenrod, curly dock, lamb’s quarters, pigweed and more. Outdoor mold can also be an allergen problem in the fall, even though it first arrives in the spring. Until there is a first frost or freeze, the mold remains.

The truth is that allergies can be with us all seasons. In fact, more Americans than ever—approximately 50 million (maybe more), or one in five Americans—say that they suffer from allergies. Likewise, 55 percent of Americans test positive for one or more allergens. A whopping 40 million of those have indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy, with the most common triggers being tree, grass and weed pollen; mold spores; dust mites; and cockroach allergens. Likewise, 10 million people are allergic to cat dander, the most common pet allergy. Other pet allergies include being allergic to dog and rodent dander.

It’s easy to see the outward signs of allergies, too. They include sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, coughing and sometimes hives, rashes and more. What’s not seen, however, is what’s happening on the inside, including inflammation. Allergies are characterized by the human immune system overreacting to a foreign protein substance that is breathed into the lungs, eaten, touched or injected. This immune overreaction is what causes the allergic symptoms.

The best way to deal with allergies is to avoid the allergens, of course. When this is possible, it’s the most effective approach. Some choose to treat allergies with medicines or immunotherapy (allergy shots), but that’s not for everybody.

Fortunately, eating a healthy diet can help. Leonard Bielory, M.D., a Rutgers University professor and chairman of the integrative medicine committee for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) has this to say: “An overall healthy diet is helpful for controlling all conditions, including allergies.”

Research suggests that certain foods help fight allergies by supporting healthy inflammation, air passages and in other ways. The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in nuts, fresh tomatoes, grapes, oranges and apples, may be one way to provide some allergy relief. In studies, Greek children who ate this diet were less likely to exhibit allergic nasal symptoms or asthma.

Here are some other foods—all Certified USDA Organic, of course—that may help fight allergies naturally:

  • Probiotic-Rich Foods: Among other studies, an Italian study found that children with allergic rhinitis who drank fermented milk with probiotics had fewer allergic episodes.
     
  • Cold-Water Fish and Other Omega-3 Foods: Salmon and other cold-water fish are packed with omega-3s and support healthy inflammation levels, which can lead to allergy relief.  Other omega-3 foods to eat are walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
     
  • Fresh Veggies and Fruits: These fine foods help to support healthy inflammation levels, which, in studies, led to improved allergy responses. Veggies and fruits with vitamin C may be particularly helpful. Carolyn Dean, M.D., says, “Vitamin C indirectly inhibits inflammatory cells from releasing histamine.” Itchiness, hives and other uncomfortable allergy issues are due to histamine, but studies indicate that vitamin C reduces histamine and helps to break it down faster once it’s released, resulting in allergy symptom relief.
     
  • Bioflavonoids: Some studies say that bioflavonoids provide allergy relief because they act as mast-cell stabilizers, which decrease the number of cells reacting to an allergen. One noted bioflavonoid, quercetin, may be especially powerful in fighting unhealthy inflammation and in offering allergy relief.  You can find quercetin in apples, onions, tea and red wine as well as other foods.
     
  • Magnesium-Rich Foods: Almonds, cashews and kelp can go a long way in allergy relief because magnesium is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine, says Dr. Dean. Magnesium is also calming to muscles of the bronchial tubes and to the whole body, which can soothe allergies.
     
  • “Kicky” Spices: Anise, fennel, horseradish and hot mustard all act as natural decongestants and offer allergy relief to help break up congestion, says Janet Maccaro, Ph.D., a clinical nutrition consultant from Scottsdale, Arizona.

It sure is great to know about these foods and nutrients, especially if you want to help fight allergies naturally this fall and throughout the allergy seasons.


Allergy Resources:

Seasonal Allergy Formulas:

Aller-All by Protocol for Life Balance Seasonal Support Formula

Pollen Hayfever Homeopathic Formula by Bio Allers

Allergy Support Nutrients:

EMIQ by Protocol for Life Balance – Enhanced Availability form of Quercetin

Ocean’s 3 Beyond Omega 3 – Omega 3 Fish Oil

Probiotics: Primal Defense Ultra HSO’s by Garden of Life

 

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These information and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
 

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The statements contained on these pages have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information conained here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this document are for information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice, meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes. Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider before beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regimen. The information in this document is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.
 

 

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